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What is classroom management software?
Classroom management software is a type of software primarily used by educational institutions to create, assess, and manage curriculums and lesson plans. It facilitates learning and education delivery by connecting stakeholders to relevant information such as student data, curricula, and school activities.
- Students and parents can access student records, grade books, class content, and school calendars.
- Parents and teachers can communicate directly via the platform.
- Administrators and department heads can communicate news, updates, student concerns, etc. with faculty and staff.
- Administrators can track academic trends, test results, and other big-picture metrics.
The benefits of classroom management software
Teachers can create and distribute assignments with a few clicks that can be accessed by students from anywhere. Classroom management software also helps teachers create a culture of compliance by tracking the activities and behavior of each student in the classroom.
Some other benefits include:
- Encourages collaboration between teachers, students, and parents: Classroom management software provides a single platform to connect teachers, students, and parents. Teachers can share online assignments with a group of students and ask them to collaborate. Users can create forums that include teachers or students from across classes, locations, departments, etc. for sharing ideas. The software increases transparency, as parents can directly interact with teachers and track the academic performance of their students regularly.
- Helps in knowledge retention: By adding various multimedia resources to teaching materials, teachers can create digital content that makes lessons more engaging to increase participation and knowledge retention.
- Frees up time for teaching: Classroom management software reduces the volume of administrative tasks for teachers by automating activities such as records management, data organization, and grade book creation. This allows teachers to dedicate more time to delivering lessons and interacting with students.
Typical features of classroom management software
- Attendance management: Enable faculty/staff members to create attendance records and log student attendance online. They can also analyze monthly, weekly, or daily attendance by generating reports.
- Class lists: Allow teachers to create lists to capture details such as student name, grade, enrollment levels, and attendance.
- Grade books: Help managing student grades by offering flexible grading rubrics. Teachers can use different evaluation scales, performance criteria, and aggregation formula to grade students.
- Discipline management: Track and update disciplinary information such as a student's attitude in class, any bullying behavior, and adherence to dress code.
- Tests/assessments: Create online quizzes, tests, and assignments to assess students. Based on defined rules, the software can provide real-time feedback on each answer and autogenerate overall scores after test completion. Some products can also generate individual student reports that help teachers to customize lessons/methods to meet different students' needs.
- Course management: Create academic material such as notes, handouts, syllabuses, and textbooks. Teachers can post material online or email them to students.
- Report cards: Create report cards from scratch or using customizable templates to include relevant information such as grades, attendance, and results.
Considerations when purchasing classroom management software
- A design for both teachers and students: A classroom management solution is expected to cater to the needs of both teachers and students. Look for a solution with a balanced focus on both segments. For example, a system with a mobile app that teachers can use to track assignment submissions and students can use to complete and submit assignments.
- Sustainability: While evaluating options, institutions should consider software that will be able to handle future increases in the number of users, subjects, content volume, etc. Ability to integrate with other commonly used education software is also important to ensure sustainable implementation. Finally, ask the vendor about version revisions as evolving technology trends can render a software ineffective in the absence of periodic updates.
- User training and support: Ideally, classroom management software should be easy to use and require minimum technical knowledge, for both teachers and students, to get started. But, ask the vendor about the availability and scope of user training. Also, as it's not common for an educational institution to have a dedicated IT team, investigate the level and responsiveness of technical support. Your staff needs to focus on delivering lessons, not battling with software to fix errors.
Relevant classroom management software trends
- Focused learning by using Artificial Intelligence (AI): Currently, AI is being used to identify knowledge gaps in students by assessing them on various parameters through online tests and assignments. AI then redirects the student to a new topic that might help fill that gap. In the future, we may even see AI powering tools that can read students' facial expressions to determine if they are comfortable with a topic or struggling to grasp the concept.
- Increasing use of the internet of things (IoT): By using IoT, wearable devices can be connected with classroom management software to automate attendance capturing. This can also help track student behavior during a session and allow teachers to send notifications to a student's mobile device if any undesired behavior is detected.